Sometimes, I like to just sit. Sit in my house and look around at the stuff, the photographs, the books, the clothes, the dishes, the food, the scene outside. I've been doing this the last few days (and nights - wedding stress = inability to turn brain off), and it's sparked a lot of thoughts about memories. And intentionally shaping our lives into what we want them to be. What kinds of stories do we want to tell? What do we base our lives upon, what is our ballast?
While perusing Pinterest one day, I found this piece of art:
I realized that, instead of trying to figure out why I could buy something identical to it, that I could totally make it myself, and even better, tailor it to my hopes and Spencer's hopes for what we want our new home and life together to incorporate and rest upon.
It's like a contract for our marriage (and someday, our family).
So off we went to Michael's. We bought some craft wood, wood glue, acrylic paint, brushes, and stencils. Spencer had the task of gluing the pieces together and installing the wall fixture to the back.
He started by scoring the back of the wood pieces where he glued them together, to help the wood glue stick.
The next step is to find every literature anthology and old chemistry textbook you have, and start stacking, once the wood glue is set. We may or may not have gone a little overboard, but then again, it was the chance to put the books from my Ancient Religions and Early Modern Philosophy classes to good use again.
Give the wood glue a few hours to dry. While you're waiting, crack open a bottle of wine and watch a few episodes of Mad Men. Give your man some kisses, and then begin painting.
Prime with white paint to give your color something to stand on. I'm not a painter, so that is my honest to goodness best idea as to what priming is for. We decided we liked the white so much, we used it as the background and used our gray paint to add more of an unfinished look to the piece.
Round one: Anne vs. Tracing Paper. It seemed I won this round (see above).
Round two: Anne vs. Tracing Paper and exacto knife. I was beaten to a sorry pulp. Leaned upon Gerard Butler to lift my spirits, nevermind the fact that he died in the first five minutes of the movie (oops! spoiler alert!) and I cried three times.
Round three: Anne vs. Tracing paper. Cut up tracing paper into a sorry pulp so as to only use measurements and throw out words. Hah, I have prevailed!
I just threw down the stencil and started painting. It was "messy" but then again, the unfinished look is what we were going for. I absolutely love how it turned out because, though there are imperfections, it adds character and reminds me that it is made by us and not by Anthropologie where we spent $220 on it. Absolutely not.
Now I can scratch off "hang picture above the sink" from my list of things to do before I turn 24.
A little bit of words on our words:
Listening: I learned a lot about something called active listening while a college student. It's the idea that most of the time, when we're in conversation, we aren't really listening, but rather, thinking of what we're going to say next. Active listening is all about eye contact and purposefully listening to the other person so that you are respecting their opinions and valuing them above yours, in a lot of ways. Spencer and I try (try) to do this. We aren't always very good at it, but it's a good thing to come back to.
Family: We are both so close to our families, and I know that it's something we want for our own family someday.
Creativity: I think that I become a very not nice person to be around when I'm not creative. When I don't set aside time for it. It's like life sucks all the juices out of me, and without the creative reboot, I become a meanie. Spencer is also really creative, and a great writer. It is something we can share together, and therefore, a big part of how we "love" each other.
Patience and love: 'nuff said.
Stories: building a better story, sharing our stories, living intentionally to create good stories.
Adventure: we're from Colorado. Adventure runs through our veins.
Pedals: Spencer rides BMX/Mountain Bikes and I cycle. It's an additiction.
Food: With Spencer's diet, food (good food) is so vital. It's directly related to his physical and mental health in a way that is more evident than in most others. So food is a big part of our lives. Also, we like to eat and eat and eat.
Spirit(s): Vino. Bourbon. Tequila. Prayer. Soul searching. All forms of the word.
Me Too: This may be my favorite. The idea that you stand in front of each other or gather with your friends, or even meet strangers on the street or work or church, and no one can ostracize the other for what they've done or may do. No one can say, Oh, you're not good enough or You don't belong here because of what you've done or Who you are doesn't fit in here. There is always someone in your community who can say, Hey! Me too! I know exactly what you're going through! This is the kind of Love, Grace, Forgiveness, Mercy that the One wants us to live by. This is the kind of friend, believer, writer, employee, wife, mother, daughter, sister I want to be.
What about your house? In your house, you do.. what? Music? Running? Canning?
What makes your home, marriage, friendship, community tick?